Most important living composer.

126 posts / 0 new
Last post
Most important living composer.

Which living composer(s) will still be remembered as having made an important and original conrtibution to composed music in, lets say, one hundred years time?

My suggestions would be Helmut Lachenmann and Georg Kurtag.

RE: Most important living composer.

Or I should say Gyorgy Kurtag.

RE: Most important living composer.

While I don't disagree in essence with your suggestions, you have to know that the word "important" goes together with the word "influential". I'm afraid the influence of these two composers you suggested is limited to their microcosmos and not to a wider classical music field.

I'm afraid there are no truly influential figures in the classical realm anymore. The names that may mark the future of music in the next centuries might not belong to any classical genre or medium, stricto sensu. After Shostakovich, some "golden" mediocrities, living in their "cells", produce music for the few who can indulge in their individualism and peculiarities. 

However, never say never again. Somebody might emerge...one day...

Parla

RE: Most important living composer.

Interesting question Arbutus.

Parla is right in saying that there is much fragmentation of the field of modern music: also that contemporary classical music is largely irrelevant to most audiences. But that his been so at least since the second Viennese School: Schoenberg on the one hand, Puccini on the other! Not to mention Strauss and Stravinsky.

From the 'difficult' school surely Boulez has to be a serious candidate, and Harrison Birtwistle. And Elliott Carter is still living!! On the other side what about John Adams and Philip Glass?

Chris

 

 

Chris A.Gnostic

RE: Most important living composer.

I wouldn't opt the last two, Chris. Minimalist composers, regardless of their contribution, are of..."minimal" influence or significance for the future of Classical Music.

Boulex is not only "difficult"; he is incomprehensible! Can anyone tell me what's the musical point of a work like "Pli selon pli". As for Birtwistle, though very interesting for the connoisseur and the British, outside UK and the small circle of his followers none know even his name. Elliot Carter is a more promising name, but, still, he is not and cannot be in the same league of composers like Shostakovich, Prokofiev or Britten.

Parla

RE: Most important living composer.

I wouldn't opt the last two, Chris. Minimalist composers, regardless of their contribution, are of..."minimal" influence or significance for the future of Classical Music.

Boulex is not only "difficult"; he is incomprehensible! Can anyone tell me what's the musical point of a work like "Pli selon pli". As for Birtwistle, though very interesting for the connoisseur and the British, outside UK and the small circle of his followers none know even his name. Elliot Carter is a more promising name, but, still, he is not and cannot be in the same league of composers like Shostakovich, Prokofiev or Britten.

Parla

RE: Most important living composer.

Parla, I think what you are saying (and with which I agree) is that there is no middle ground any more - the ground occupied by Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Britten.  But what of Stravinsky? Some of his music is hardly less difficult than Webern or Schoenberg.

Is Boulez less comprehensible than Webern or Schoenberg? I guess that many of us enjoy the music of the second Viennese School more than you do Parla.

Is John Adams more trivial than Puccini? Was the latter significant for the future of classical music, or just a 'throwback'?

It does seem though that 'significance' and 'popularity' seem to be drifting further and dangerously apart.

We each have strong responses to these issues I expect, but only time will tell, I suppose. 

Chris

PS: On a sunnier note the Parkanyi Op.54 Haydn Quartets have just arrived. Lovely!

 

Chris A.Gnostic

RE: Most important living composer.

I like the way Parla repeated his post, just like Philip Glass endlessly repeats everything. If I happen to hear his music it invariably puts in my mind an image of the daily routine at the Glass factory where scores are printed on long rolls, like wallpaper, and if someone from a film or ballet company rings up to commission a 'new' piece, the assistant asks how long the piece needs to be and then unfurls the appropiate length of paper, cuts it with a guillotine, and sticks it in an envelope.

RE: Most important living composer.

Hi Arbutus!

It's a tricky one, because we don't exactly seem to have any really well-known names anymore. Certainly not 'household' names. I think the era of such names ended in 1975 when Britten and Shostakovitch both died.

Is it someone who is 'popular'? As in Taverner, Part, Glass, Adams et al...

Or someone who is respected? Henze, Penderecki, or in the UK Knussen, Turnage...

It is difficult. Time will maybe tell!

A very interesting question though, and I have thought it myself before!

Regards

Mark

Chris:

I think I am kind of agreeing with your point in what I just said above:

'It does seem though that 'significance' and 'popularity' seem to be drifting further and dangerously apart'.

PS Carter's music is, as the critics note, extremely powerful using traditional means...

Hi Ludwg. Hpe u don mind me sendin u a txt mes. How u doin? - Yrs. Frz Scbrt.

RE: Most important living composer.

Chris, Stravinsky became a very influential figure thanks to his (truly) great Ballets and some more of his "less difficult" music. On the contrary, he became a very controversial composer on account of his "inexplicably difficult" music.

Boulez makes less sense than the pioneers of the Second School of Vienna. He seems to have been influenced by the three great ones, but he did not properly develop his own language in a very individual and narrow path of composition style and form. That's why his music is rarely performed and with very limited success.

John Adams is definitely (much) more trivial than Puccini. At least, the latter left some glorious, influential whether we like it or not, melodies that seem to be perennial and beloved even by those who hate him (or love to hate him). In any case, in the "house" of Opera, he was a quite influential and extremely popular composer, having left an indelible mark in the development of the genre.

I have to agree that, nowadays, "significance" and "popularity" are drifting far apart, in an ominous way...

Parla

P.S.: The Parkanyi's op. 54 by Haydn is absolutely lovely. Enjoy!

RE: Most important living composer.

c hris johnson wrote:

Parla, I think what you are saying (and with which I agree) is that there is no middle ground any more - the ground occupied by Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Britten.

I'm not sure what you mean by "middle ground" but most new works I've heard in the 21st century, a few "modern" gestures apart, could have been written any time in the last hundred years. I almost prefer the prevailing situation 30 or 40 years ago, when any new work performed at a mainstream concert could be guaranteed to set the audience's teeth on edge.

Pages

Log in or register to post comments

Gramophone Subscriptions

From £48/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From £48/year
Subscribe
From £48/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From £48/year
Subscribe
From £48/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From £48/year
Subscribe
© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2014